BETHANY – Southeastern had two players rush for 100-yards and combine for three rushing scores to power the Savage Storm to a 31-14 victory over Southern Nazarene on Saturday afternoon in Bethany, Okla.
The win snaps a four-game losing skid and moves SE to 2-4 on the year overall and 2-3 in Great American Conference play, while the Crimson Storm slip to 0-6 on the year and 0-6 in conference play.
Southeastern will be back in action on Oct. 18 for a Friday night contest against in-state GAC rival Southwestern Oklahoma State at 6 p.m.
For the first time in 2013 the Savage Storm had a pair of 100-yard rushers in a game as Devlon Wortham tallied 115 yards and two scores on 21 carries, while Nelson Akinwande turned in his first 100-yard performance with 101 yards on 21 carries with a TD.
“We went into the game plan trying to run the ball more,” said head coach Ray Richards in the wake of his team’s victory. “Some of the things they were doing we felt like we could run the ball more.”
The rushing paced the offensive attack as SE ran for 218 yards and passed for 228 for a 446 yard offensive effort.
“Just to get a win after the last four weeks is a relief,” said Richards. “I’m happy for our players to get a win again. I felt like it was a must win. It was a game we had to get.”
“That third quarter was little nerve racking,” continued Richards, “We had our backs against the wall and we did a nice job of getting out of there without giving up any points.”
The defense was stout, especially in the second half, as Logan Russell led the way with 11 tackles and Chad Tucker was right behind with 11.
Tucker also picked up his second interception of the season while Jacobi Crowley snagged his first.
Meanwhile in the SNU backfield SE tallied three sacks, with Russell and Coby Ragsdale each picking up one.
Back on offense, Nick Sioson had an efficient day passing the ball, completing 60.7 percent of his passes (17-of-28) for 228 yards and a touchdown, but he was sacked twice and he did throw an interception.
His favorite target on the afternoon was Anthony Foster who rebounded from last week’s outing to post 130 yards and a touchdown on six receptions, and has now posted 100-plus yards receiving in five of six games played. Kaymon Farmer was next in line with four catches for 47 yards.
SE forced the Crimson Storm into a three-and-out to open the game, but on the second play of the ensuing drive Sioson was sacked for a three-yard loss but even worse fumbled the ball at their own 46 yardline and it was recovered by SNU’s Michael Hicks at the Southeastern 48 yardline.
The Storm defense would remain stout and keep SNU off the board, but neither team could get anything going on their next two offensive possessions.
It was finally SE that mounted a drive that found paydirt, going 57 yards on six plays, five of which were on the ground including the eight yard scoring run by Akinwande who now has rushing scores in consecutive contests.
Neither team would be able to finish a drive in the first quarter, but after forcing SNU to punt and taking advantage of a four-yard punt when four plays later Sioson found Foster who slipped a tackle and scampered 34 yards for a touchdown and a 14-0 lead with 12:15 to play in the half.
Tucker would pick up his interception to end the following SNU drive, but the Storm offense was unable to take advantage, punting the ball back to the Crimson Storm with 7:36 to play at the SNU 43 yardline.
SNU would get the ball to the 10 yardline and after a 13-yard Ragsdale sack of Dylan Terry would sit with a third and goal from the 20 yardline. However, Terry would find Jarod Martin in the end zone on the next play to cut SE’s lead to 14-7 with 4:41 to play.
The Storm offense would answer with a seven play 75 yard drive, keyed first by a 25 yard Sioson to Foster pass and then a 29 yard Wortham run to get a first and goal at the five yardline. Wortham would then finish the job with a five-yard TD run that put SE up 21-7 with 2:37 to play.
SNU, however, would march its ensuing possession down the field thanks to a 15-yard personal foul penalty and three-straight plays of 10-or-more yards and with 43 seconds to play Brian Yenor scored from three-yards out to cut the SE lead to 21-14.
Both teams seemed to spin their wheels offensively for the third quarter, but it was Southeastern that struck first when Wortham scored from six yards out with 16 second to go in the third frame and SE led 28-14.
Crowley would end SNU’s next drive with an interception, but the ensuing Storm drive would come to a premature end when Sioson tossed his first interception of the day at the Crimson Storm 28 yardline with 8:51 to play in the game.